Released this week: Freedom Writers, The History Boys, The Last King of Scotland, Notes on a Scandal, Smokin' Aces.
The History Boys: Set in 1983 Sheffield, Nicholas Hytner's film follows eight boys on the verge of entering college ' clever, wild, cocky boys who are entertaining from the moment they walk on screen. The film is a raunchy, raw and often hilarious look at the business of learning.
Notes on a Scandal: This Hitchcockian character study is a wonderfully nasty piece of work, with Judi Dench starring as a schoolteacher out to destroy a new colleague (Cate Blanchett). Blanchett exudes a pillowly softness, but it's Dench who, given a role she could really sink her teeth into, leaves bite marks all over the screen.